Socialist Worker

We’re not pudding up with the Tories

Issue No. 2685

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We're not pudding up with it


Boris Johnson’s victory has to be met with a step change in our resistance. For the last three years, Tory prime ministers have been dogged by division and unable to get their own way.

Theresa May and Johnson had to barter for votes and suffered humiliating defeats in parliament over Brexit.

However you unwrap the election result, this has totally changed.

If Johnson wants to slash workers’ rights and environmental protections, he has a gang of loyal MPs to rubber stamp it.

But there was no surge of support for Johnson at the election. The Tory vote went up by just 1.2 percent compared to 2017.

Stuffed

Resistance can gain widespread traction and see the Tories stuffed.

We can’t repeat the mistakes of the last four years.

Jeremy Corbyn inspired millions of people fed up with austerity, racism and war. But Corbynism had a contradictory effect.

Struggle on the streets, workplaces and campuses largely dipped and many people’s energies were directed into the Labour Party. The school students’ climate strikes and action by Extinction Rebellion have been inspiring breaks from this wider trend.

The union leaders in particular placed all of their hopes in electing a Labour government, not fighting the Tories and the bosses.

A movement half the size and with an ounce of the militancy of the Yellow Vests and strikers in France could have broken the Tories as they staggered from defeat to defeat in parliament.

But there wasn’t a single demonstration called to drive May out. There can be no such illusions of waiting for a Labour government now. Johnson has already announced plans to further restrict rail workers’ right to strike.

Union leaders pinned their hopes on a Labour government repealing the Trade Union Act that imposes measures such as turnout thresholds in strike ballots.

Choice

The choice is simple now—fight or lose even more union rights.

There have to be serious and concrete plans for building unions, defending the NHS and forcing action on climate change.

This will require more strikes, militant protests and coordinated resistance. When the Tories come for the rail workers, the whole union movement has to mobilise numbers in their support—not just offer warm words or a social media campaign.

When strike ballots fall foul of the thresholds, union leaders must be prepared to defy the law.

But we also need to organise around politics centred on struggle, not parliament. That’s why we ask everyone who wants to deepen the fightback and to continue the fight for socialism to join the Socialist Workers Party.


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